3.271 e-texts, publishers, and rights (203)

Thu, 20 Jul 89 17:43:42 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 271. Thursday, 20 Jul 1989.

(1) Date: Thursday, 20 July 1989 0003-EST (38 lines)
Subject: Typsetting Tapes

(2) Date: Thu, 20 Jul 89 09:14:20 BST (10 lines)
From: Donald Spaeth (0532) 33 3573 <ECL6DAS@CMS1.UCS.LEEDS.AC.UK>
Subject: publishers' tapes

(3) Date: Wed, 19 Jul 89 22:34:02 CDT (10 lines)
From: "Michael S. Hart" <HART@UIUCVME>
Subject: Re: 3.266 e-texts from publishers?

(4) Date: Thu, 20 Jul 89 18:07 BST (29 lines)
From: Oxford Text Archive <ARCHIVE@VAX.OXFORD.AC.UK>
Subject: why publishers' tapes may not be useful

(5) Date: Wednesday, 19 July 1989 2047-EST (36 lines)

(6) Date: Thu, 20 Jul 89 13:29 EDT (42 lines)
From: Peter D. Junger <JUNGER@CWRU>
Subject: Copying

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thursday, 20 July 1989 0003-EST
Subject: Typsetting Tapes

Guy Pace (re)raises an issue of great importance, of rescuing
and using for electronic research purposes the typesetting tapes
used in publication preparation. Neither scholars nor publishers
seem to be doing very much about the problem, and I have been told
by publishers in some instances that the tapes are under the control
of the typesetters (who tend to reuse them) .... I have been urging
scholars to make it part of contracts with publishers that the
author recovers the best electronic form for his/her purposes
(revision, excerpting, etc.), and I have seen some recent contracts
that include such provisions. Progress. But publishers and sponsors
(e.g. scholarly societies, publication series, etc.) also need to
become systematically responsible for preserving (and reformatting)
these materials, and depositing them in appropriate "archives"
at the very least. Some attention to these issues was given at the
recent Toronto ACH/ALLC meeting in the Archive Panel discussion.

On the practical level, we at CCAT have reformatted typesetting
tapes for some publishers, for reuse as electronic texts. Once the
program shell is in place, it is not a difficult task. I have heard
publishers claim that it would be too difficult to be worthwhile,
but I have yet to see a typesetting tape that comes anywhere close
to living up to that billing! Indeed, if the tape was used for
automatic typesetting, it can without undue effort be reformatted
for appropriate electronic access.

In short, we need to put pressure on at all levels -- as authors,
editors, users, buyers, members of professional societies, etc. --
to encourage and, where appropriate, demand that the electronic
"byproducts" of current publishing technology not be discarded
or lost. The time will be soon upon us when the electronic version
will be primary, and the printed version a "byproduct," in many

Bob Kraft (Center for Computer Analysis of Texts, Univ. of Penn.)
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------14----
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 89 09:14:20 BST
From: Donald Spaeth (0532) 33 3573 <ECL6DAS@CMS1.UCS.LEEDS.AC.UK>
Subject 3.266 Electronic Text (Pace)

Concerning using publisher's/printer's tapes as the basic for electronic
text...it's not that sample, as Ruth Glynn made clear at the Toronto
conference. Ruth and others are much better able to explain why than
I am, so I leave it them.
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------19----
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 89 22:34:02 CDT
From: "Michael S. Hart" <HART@UIUCVME>
Subject: Gaining permission to use publishers' electronic texts.

On the other hand, what about the greater proportion of books which are
still under copyright protection, but were published over 10 years ago.
Does anyone know if any publishers might be willing to allow someone to
create machine readable editions?
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------32----
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 89 18:07 BST
From: Oxford Text Archive <ARCHIVE@VAX.OXFORD.AC.UK>
Subject: why publishers' may be of little use

Here are some reasons why the electronic form into which texts may be
put by publishers before prublication are usually of depressingly
little use to anyone else:

1. It has been prepared by a jobbing printer or typesetting agency using
its own inhouse equipment and standards which are almost certainly
incompatible with anyone elses. Or even more than one such.
2. It has nearly always been revised again after the initial data capture
- sometimes substantially and sometimes even after the stage where
it leaves electronic form as bromide or whatever
3. It is in a REALLY obscure encoding, using for example special nonascii
sequences to indicate common ligatures as well as formatting instructions
4. It is structured as bits and pieces of galley proof, not as a continuous
5. Even if you can understand its markup, the purpose of that markup will
have been the production of a printed page. This, as I believe has been
remarked elsewhere, is not enough for any sort of satisfactory textual

Dare I mention that the answer to all the technical problems would be
the widespread acceptance of SGML without the publishing industry? Then
all we'd have to worry about would be the copyright problems....


(5) --------------------------------------------------------------39----
Date: Wednesday, 19 July 1989 2047-EST

Michael is correct and here is a case in point! We are in the
process of submitting to WISC-WARE our data file and control
program for CINEMA. The major problem we are having is not
with the programming but with the University lawyers who
worry about copyright infringement. We have been extremely
careful to follow the letter of the infamous FBI warning.
We don't resell video discs though we could. We don't capture
any parts of the video material though we could. We properly
cited all material taken from the video, published material,
etc. We use it in the prescribed manner under the restrictions
of the FBI warning; that is, for classroom use and for face-to-face
instruction as defined in that murky law. And yet, the University
lawyers are hesitant to let us put this material, our own work
to a large extent in the public arena, because the copyright
law could be interpreted to define what we have done as derivative,
that is, legal jargon for plagarism. In short, our lawyers don't
want to even take the remotest chance of a suit. Now, I think
that says something about copyright, doesn't it? To me, I would not
rely on a University lawyer to define worthwhile instruction and
research material. Well, we are now asking permission of
the holders of copyright and have received oral and soon written
permission. Funny. My last conversation with our lawyer here
was this:

"We have received permission from the holder of copyright
to distribute." (JACK)
"Well do they really hold copyright?" (LAWYER) "Should
we find that out?"

Lawyers! You got a love them! Too bad there are more of them
in the Congress who are putting further restrictions on computing
such as the new rewrites of copyright law.
(6) --------------------------------------------------------------46----
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 89 13:29 EDT
From: Peter D. Junger <JUNGER@CWRU>
Subject: Copying

The bemusement expressed by Michael Sperberg-McQueen in his recent
posting about "publishers and permissions" is very reasonable. I have, as a
former lawyer turned academic, been very reluctant to join in the discussion
about copyright law because the 'law' in this area is so unruly.

I believe that Sperberg-McQueen is wise in suggesting that if one asks
for permission to do something that one is already privileged to do, one may
discover, when the permission is denied, that one has lost one's former

Although publishers and authors would often like to control the use
that is made of copyrighted materials, and sometimes succeed in doing so, in
theory all that a copyright owner has is the legally enforceable right to
forbid copies being made of his work. Furthermore, though the degree of
freedom from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the legitimate possessor of a copy
of a copyrighted is allowed to make "fair use" of that copy, including to some
ill-defined extent, the privilege to make copies of that copy.

To copy a copyrighted passage into your personal notebook either by
typing (if the notebook is paper) or 'keyboarding' (if the notebook is on a
computer) is not going to constitute a copyright violation and will not require
any permission from the copyright owner. I do not think that use of an optical
scanner or a xerograph machine should change this conclusion.

If, however, you should later publish your notebooks, or use the
material in them in a published work,--and publishing may amount to nothing
more than circulating a few copies to your friends, although I hope that that
would be fair use--those acts might constitute a copyright violation.

There is also the danger that comes from doing things in excess. If
you use a scanner to copy the entire 300 volumes of the 1989 edition of the
Readers Digest edition of the Waverly Novels into your personal computer, I
could imagine that someone might claim that you had violated the Readers
Digest's copyright, even though I think that it is still fair use. On the
other hand, if you use a laser printer to run off two hundred copies of the
volume containing Ivanhoe, and sell those copies to your students in Medieval
Literature 101, you have probably crossed the line and are no longer protected
by the concept of fair use.